What is the nature of the footprint left behind by an event, congress, or convention? Is there a way we can make sure that the legacy of an event has a positive effect on its relevant professional communities, or on the city or country in which the event is held?

Most of the work in relation to an event, convention, or congress, happens prior to the event itself. Naturally, the legacy and impact of the event comes second in line. What happens if we turn the question around, making legacy an equal part of the agenda?

Region Stavanger has been taking steps over the last year to move legacy further up on the list for the congress and convention industry in Stavanger. Our work on legacy started with our participation at the ICCA World Congress in Krakow in November 2022, and ended with co-organising our very own legacy workshop, which became the introduction to the ICCA Business Workshop, held on the 15th to the 17th of June, here in Stavanger. A Norwegian legacy model is well underway, and we are happy to report that legacy will play a crucial role in all parts of our business in years to come.

ICCA Business Workshop participants at Stavanger concert hall. Photo: Christine Hou

A gathering of minds – unveiling connections and expertise

ICCA is both a global community, and a vital source of knowledge and experience. With over 1100 members in nearly 100 countries, the association represents both destinations as well as experienced suppliers within the conference and congress industry.

Following our participation at the ICCA World Congress, Region Stavanger became members of a new working group, a team on a mission to develop a Norwegian model for legacy. Over the course of the last year, our team has both participated in and facilitated for workshops and events surrounding legacy, to strengthen our competence on the subject, and make sure we are in possession of the right tools and the knowledge to be able to work on legacy within our own events and practices.

The ICCA pre-event – A legacy workshop

This year, Region Stavanger was lucky enough to be the organizers and facilitators of the ICCA Destination Marketing European Business Workshop. Participants were accommodated at the historic and picturesque Hotel Victoria in the heart of Stavanger. Hosting this event provided us with a wonderful opportunity to put our own work on legacy into practice.

As an introduction to the three-day event, Region Stavanger arranged a legacy workshop. By aid of presentations, group tasks and discussions, the participants aimed to find out how legacy can be made an active part of both the planning and the execution of a convention or congress, and gain insight from each other, learning how it’s been achieved by convention bureaus and organizers throughout Europe.

Legacy workshop at Innoasis. Photo: Christine Hou

Among the topics discussed were the purpose and ambition of an event, opportunities for a positive societal, economic, environmental and political impact, and legacy potentials such as advancing science, facilitating business partnerships, connecting with government entities, promoting local best practices, and encouraging collaboration between science and business.

The workshop fostered an environment of inspiration and engagement, highly encouraging collaboration and discussion among all participants. The workshop, along with the three-day ICCA event and our legacy studies over the last year, has provided us with useful tools and insight prior to the launch of the legacy model.

“Organizing a legacy workshop was an initiative by Region Stavanger. We saw this as an opportunity to challenge our own competence on the subject of legacy, which we’ve been building over the course of this year. This workshop was a significant milestone in the legacy project we started at the end of 2022, building up to the launch of the Norwegian legacy model. In addition to this, we are well underway in testing our legacy model in several bidding processes we’ve been a part of this spring. Region Stavanger has been an active contributor to the model, along with our partners at Visit Oslo, Visit Bergen and Innovasjon Norge. The plan is for the model to launch at the end of the summer, and I am very much looking forward to it!”

Michelle Milas, Manager Conventions and Exhibitions at Region Stavanger.

Brace for positive impact

The new Norwegian model for legacy has been given the name Pioneering Impacts. Following the launch at the end of summer, our aim is to streamline the Norwegian way of working with and promoting legacy within the congress and convention industry. Our hope, as well as the hope of our collaborators, is that Pioneering Impacts will present a new beginning for the Norwegian world of events, giving our work on legacy an impact, and a legacy of its own.